Every day I get a little bit older. Something new hurts that never hurt me before. An earlobe, a small toe on my right foot, a red spot on the back of my hand… a spider bite on my belly.
Something flits like a butterfly across my field of vision, caught only by my severely imperfect peripheral vision. Of course my keen old mind, sharpened by 31 years of teaching in Texas public schools, knows instantly that it is not a butterfly… No, it must be a little naked girl with butterfly wings. A fairy. What else could it be?
“It’s a bug,” the dog says affirmatively. “And if I can catch it, I’m gonna eat it! I hope it tastes like bacon.”
And then I try to argue that you shouldn’t snack on fairies. They are too much like little people, and you should not eat people.
But she insists you cannot argue about a dog’s right to eat what she catches because there is no such thing as a talking dog.
And she has a point. But she is old too. She’s going blind in one eye with a milk-white cataract. So, if it is a little naked girl with butterfly wings, she will never actually be able to catch it.
I guess I should seriously stop arguing with dogs who can’t really talk because I suppose it is evidence of an old man going a bit loony and losing his mind.
So, I dropped in on my old friend and noted chemist trying to create a happiness potion, Milton G. Dogwhiffle. He lives in that yellow house in our neighborhood that I only seem to be able to find when my blood sugar is a little bit low and I find it really easy to get lost… and see fairies in the bushes.
“Simon, my old friend, how’s the happiness potion coming?” I say in my silliest old-man voice.
“My name is not Simon,” Gilliam says with a surprised look on his face, “But the happiness formula is nearly perfected. It is, however, a potion for turning dogs into people which means they will then be able to work can openers and refrigerator doors which is the part that makes them the happiest.”
“I volunteer as a test subject,” my dog says.
“You can’t really talk, remember,” I tell her.
“It doesn’t matter anyway,” said Ralph. “I am testing it on myself first. I used to be a cocker spaniel, you know.”
And this confused me further since I was almost sure Milton’s name used to be Chester P. Dogwhipple… not Ralph.
So, the dog and I wandered around the neighborhood for a while aimlessly, until I happened to remember where our house was. And that made me happy.